By Alice Seeley

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that more than 4.4 million Americans willingly left their jobs in February, amounting to around 2.9% of America’s workforce and about 100,000 more than quit in January.

Before March 2021, the percentage of Americans who willingly left their jobs never exceeded 2.5 percent. Since March of 2021, that percentage has not been below 2.5 percent.

With this record-high number of Americans quitting their jobs, there are plenty of job openings. Last month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed 11.3 million available jobs after employers added 678,000 jobs this past quarter.

Because so many Americans have left the workforce, employers must compete for a smaller labor pool. Employers dramatically increased salaries as an incentive for employees to stay and attract new employees. Americans who do not quit are more likely to reach a 5.4 percent raise.

Even with these higher salaries and raises, businesses cannot find enough employees. This has forced companies to lower and drop job requirements to find enough workers.

“There is a brutal battle for lower-skilled employees occurring. Companies that usually require college degrees are starting to drop those requirements, meaning they’re now entering into the fray to find the same worker that other companies have trouble hiring,” According to Senior Economist at Emsi Burning Glass, Ron Hetrick.

This record-high number of Americans quitting may be coming to an end, Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor, believes. This means employer demand will decrease throughout the remainder of the year.